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25 Screen free activities for kids

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Here’s a list of screen free activities for kids. There are STEM and STEAM ideas mixed in with good old fashioned fun stuff to engage kids and keep them occupied without the need for a screen. 

25 Screen free activities for kids

Summer is almost here!

But how to keep the kids occupied for the long, long summer school holidays?  

We’ve got a holiday and a few big trips planned.

Plus I’ve got a whole bunch of last-all-summer-long projects up my sleeve.

But this year I’ve also made a list of simple summer screen free activities for kids.

As an added bonus these are all NO PREP activities. 

Because, you can end up faffing for hours prepping the perfect activity, and you know what?

Most kids would rather you spent that time giving them your undivided attention … being with them in the moment … and just playing.

So here it is, my list of no prep screen free activities for kids, it is literally choc full of easy summer fun ideas. 

Screen free activities for kids

1. Play dough making

There are so many wonderful fancy recipes for play dough, but sometimes I just don’t need the stress of failed gloop when they are happy as Larry outside mixing their own with a bucket of flour and a jug of water. 


2. Float eggs

We love science experiments but some do need prep for special ingredients and aren’t guaranteed to work.

All you need for floating eggs is water, salt and some eggs.

Simply put the eggs in the water and see that they sink then keep adding more and more salt until they float.

3. Dissolve shells

This is another trusty no prep science experiment.

Just put an egg or some empty snail shells or seaside shells in vinegar and watch them slowly dissolve over 24 hours or so.

The sea shell will take longest and you’ll need to keep topping up the vinegar.

4. Make butter

Yes, I said make butter!

All you need is some cream and a jar with a lid.

Put the cream in and keep shaking it until buttery solids start to form.

You can keep putting the jar in the fridge and then taking it out for a short while every hour for everyone to have a good shake.

Once the butter is made you can have it on bread for tea.

5. Squeeze an egg into a jar

This is a brilliant experiment that just needs an egg and a glass jar with a slightly smaller rim.

Click the link to find out how to do the experiment: experiment 

6. Create volcanoes

To create a volcano you need to add some baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) to a mixture of vinegar, food colouring and washing up liquid in a jar or bowl.

Watch as the substances react to create a fixing volcano. 

7. Camp out in the garden

If it’s a super hot summer you can make your own tent from chairs, blankets and assorted bits of garden furniture. 

OR borrow a tent – or use the one you’ve got in the shed from your festival going days. 

8. Garden obstacle course

Scavenge around the garden and in the garden shed to create an obstacle course fit for an Olympian in training!

Rope in the family dog as a competitor. 

9. Fruit picking

There is nothing more glorious than the taste of a freshly picked strawberry – especially if it is one that you eat illicitly before your punnet has been weighed 😉 

A couple of hours fruit picking is huge amounts of fun, turn it into a competition to see who can pick the most. It’s great exercise and you’ll have yummy fruit to take home. 

10. Pick wild berries 

Head out into the hedgerows and forage for wild blackberries and elderberries. Do be careful to know exactly what it is you are picking. 

It’s so easy to while away an sunny afternoon foraging. 

11. Play hide and seek

A big old family game of hide and seek is so simple and yet SO. MUCH. FUN.

In a world of high tech games and screens it’s easy to forget the simple pleasure of a big old family game of hide and seek. 

But it is SO. MUCH. FUN. 

My biggest challenge is trying not to giggle and give my crazy hiding place away. 

12. Make a mud kitchen 

Get all the kids’ pots and pans into a corner of the garden and provide them with water. 

That’s it. 

Hours of fun can be had making mud pies and decorating them with twigs and flowers. 

13. Have a paint fight

Make up watery paint and pop it into spray bottles. 

Get everyone to wear their swimming goggles and as little else as possible. 

Then everyone runs round spraying each other. 

14. Have a water fight

Now this is just like the paint fight… but with just water rather than paint!!

Just fill some spray bottles with water and off you go.

I’ve also got a whole bunch of water play ideas that involve a little more prep. 

You can also use sponges as well, if you really want to make like a TV challenge show. 

15. Sprinkler jumping

Simply turn the water sprinkler on and get running through it. 

Hours of fun!

16. Go on a family bike ride

Get the bikes out and go on a family bike ride. 

Take a picnic and make a day of it. 

17. Play charades

18. Challenge each other to running races 

Have a running race … just hit the park and run run run with the wind in your hair.

19. Pancake parlour

Have a pancake parlour in which everyone can create whatever toppings they like … as long as you’ve got eggs, flour, milk & butter you’re good to go …

20. Outdoor beauty parlour

Have an outdoor beauty parlour and paint toe nails

21. Play duck duck goose

Play duck duck goose

22. Do a weekly library visit

Go the library every week … great to go on the same day every week … it helps give the week some routine and builds a lifetime habit of library use

23. Go on a nature walk

Actively take the time to stop and appreciate all the different aspects of nature you find on your walk. 

Take a magnifying glass for added scientific clout. 

Do also read my post on 50 free outdoor activities for kids

24. Make natural jewellery

Make jewellery from anything natural you can find in the garden or park … herbs, flowers, twigs, grasses, cones etc …

25. Go on a baddie bug hunt

Go on a “bad bug” hunt … go on a bug hunt for all those pesky bugs that eat the plants … slugs, snails etc … and see who can find the most

And finally you can always just leave them to it … the most wonderful gift you can give any child is to let them learn to entertain themselves …

More kids activities ideas that you will find really useful

Summer Long Kids Projects – ideas for projects to keep kids occupied and entertaining themselves during the long summer school vacation. 

50 FREE Outdoor Activities For Kids – because summer vacation time is expensive and our wallets need a rest too! 

Pin for later:

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A big summer vacation bucket list of kids activities, all of these fun things to do are no-prep activites so and your children can spend more time just enjoying being together and having fun together. #KidsActivities #bucketlist #parenting #Summer #summervacation
A big summer vacation bucket list of kids activities, all of these fun things to do are no-prep activites so and your children can spend more time just enjoying being together and having fun together. #KidsActivities #bucketlist #parenting #Summer #summervacation
A big summer vacation bucket list of kids activities, all of these fun things to do are no-prep activites so and your children can spend more time just enjoying being together and having fun together. #KidsActivities #bucketlist #parenting #Summer #summervacation
A big summer vacation bucket list of kids activities, all of these fun things to do are no-prep activites so and your children can spend more time just enjoying being together and having fun together. #KidsActivities #bucketlist #parenting #Summer #summervacation


Sunday 24th of May 2015

Ah wonderful ideas! I've bookmarked the page. My daughter has 2 months off in between nursery and school so I'm going to need to be prepared! #thelist

Verily Victoria Vocalises

Friday 22nd of May 2015

What a brilliant list! I found the butter-making of particular interest. I never knew that one! We need to try it now. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x


Sunday 24th of May 2015

So glad you like, have got it pinned up in the kitchen for inspiration. The butter making is one from my mum from her playgroup days - always a winner and great with a group of kids who can keep shaking all day long.

Mummy Fever

Friday 22nd of May 2015

Fantastic list - lots of these things are on our list as well :) #PoCoLo


Friday 22nd of May 2015

Totally bookmarking this page - absolutely fantastic! Great for me as I am one of life's wingers! #thelist


Friday 22nd of May 2015

So glad you like - we enjoyed loads of these last summer and can't wait to get going again. If only the blinking sun would stay out heh?

Let kids be kids

Friday 22nd of May 2015

Great list of ideas. I really want to dissolve some shells now, my kids would love watching that! #Pocolo